How Many Calories You Really Burn At SoulCycle, Barre & Other Workout Classes

Ever since Lady Gaga replaced her personal trainer for her own SoulCycle bike and we started shopping at Bandier instead of Lululemon, there’s been a shift in the world of working out. Boutique fitness is trendier than ever, and betches across the world are drinking the organic sugar-free Kool-Aid. I mean, there’s a Barry’s Bootcamp open in Milan, so you know this shit has gone global. Workout classes are the new jog in the park, but are they really worth the price tag? We’ve been dying to know how many calories we actually burn in these classes, so we did some digging and the results are in. Keep in mind that everyone’s bodies are different so it’s hard to give you a straightforward number, here’s how many calories you (approximately) burn in your go-to classes:

1. Spin

Spin classes have surprisingly been around for decades, but they didn’t really get big until SoulCycle developed a cult following the size of China’s population and was then followed by Flywheel, Peloton, Swerve, and a few other wannabes. A lot of these studios tell people they can burn up to 1,000 calories in a class, but that’s ambitious, even if you’re like, really pretty athletic. If you’re working as hard as the teacher is telling you to work, you’re probably burning around 500 calories in a 45-minute class. This obviously varies depending on the person, the class, and how much effort you’re putting in, but just think logically. Like, if I’m drenched and crippled by the end of a spin class, I know I burned a shit ton of calories. I mean, It’s like I have ESPN or something. Can I take all these free bananas now?

2. Circuit Training & HIIT

Circuit-style classes are becoming more and more popular recently, and it’s not just because girls have realized they’ll look good if they step off the treadmill and start lifting some weights. HIIT classes are short and effective, because the class is scientifically built to make you work in short, intense intervals that are meant to spike your heart rate and keep your body burning calories for a day after the workout. The scientific term for it is called EPOC, and the results are dope. So, even if you’re only burning like, 300-400 calories in a 40-minute HIIT class, your body is put in a calorie-burning mode, which can last up to 36 hours, depending on how hard you worked. Thank you, science.

3. Barre & Pilates

Barre and pilates classes are obv different in many ways, but they’re both focused on muscle toning and pulsing movements, so we’re grouping them together for convenience reasons. Basically, whether you’re on a pilates reformer or doing pulsing squats with a bouncy ball in between your legs, you’re doing resistance training, which means you’re damaging your muscles in class. Afterwards, the muscle fibers repair themselves, which makes your muscles grow and your body get toned AF. So, these classes usually burn only 200-300 calories, but the point of them is to spike your metabolic rate and strengthen your muscles, so don’t freak out if you’re not soaked and exhausted by the end of class—you’re getting more long-term results that are not just about the amount of calories you burn in class.

4. Boxing

Boxing has had a trendy revival lately, so we’ve been dying to know what’s so damn life-changing about these classes. Gotham Gym and The Dogpound have always been packed with celebs like Gigi Hadid, Shay Mitchell, and Karlie Kloss, but now new studios like Rumble and Shadowbox are taking over the NYC fitness scene, and it’s not just because the trainers literally look like the strong versions of Victoria’s Secret models. Boutique boxing studios incorporate traditional boxing drills in their classes, but they also usually have HIIT and strength training segments built into the class. With the cardio of boxing and the effects of weightlifting combined, these classes can burn anywhere from 500-800 calories. It’s also a cheaper form of therapy if you’re particularly angry at the moment. Just saying.

5. Hot Yoga

We know there are a lot of different types of yoga classes out there, but we can’t sit here and dissect the caloric differences between Vinyasa, Bikram, and Ashtanga (pretty sure that’s the name of a bomb sushi restaurant, though). We’re talking about hot yoga because people tend to think they’re burning a million calories due to the yoga poses being done at such a high temperature. While it’s true that hot yoga classes take place in rooms set at over 100 degrees, the extra heat just makes your body lose extra water, not fat. If you’re taking a rigorous yoga class, you could technically burn up to 400 calories, but most probably clock in at around 200. Basically, the “hot” part doesn’t mean more calories burned, it just means one more day that you can’t rely on dry shampoo again. Kind of a bummer.

6. Dance Cardio

Although Zumba hit its peak in 2009 and pretty much died since then, there are a lot of types of dance-based workouts that burn a ton of calories. Again, everyone’s bodies are so different, but if you’re really jumping around and kicking your legs in the air for an hour straight, you can probably burn up to 500-600 calories. 305Fitness in NYC claims you’ll burn 800 in a class, but that’s probably a stretch, unless you’re that annoying person in the front row who does the absolute most the entire time (you know the one). Most dance cardio classes take breaks and have active rest periods, so it’s obviously not as intense as spin or boxing. But then again, a workout is a workout, so if you’d rather dance than peddle on a bike until your quads feel like they’re literally on fire, we totally get it. Do the dance class. 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/how-many-calories-you-burn-in-workout-classes

5 Ways Dry Shampoo Is Sabotaging Your Hair

I would try to beat around the bush with this one, but given what the headline is, there’s really no dodging it. I’m about to ruin your day, your week, your month, and even your year. On the bright side, this isn’t another article about Trump’s latest fuckups controversial tweet. Instead, it’s about the godawful ways dry shampoo is a scum-sucking road whore. It basically ruins your hair’s life, aka your life as well, each time you use it. I love dry shampoo as much as you, and in fact, I love my dry shampoo’d hair more than what my hair looks like out of the shower. I think we can agree that the volume, bounce, and texture dry shampoo provides is incomparable, not to mention the fact that it allows our lazy asses to skip a long and tedious hair wash routine. However, since nothing ever, ever, *ever* works in our favor, it turns out this shit is bad for you. I know, like, wtf did we do to deserve this? You don’t have to toss out your Batiste or Not Your Mother’s just yet, but I would think twice before using three days in a row.

1. It Could Cause Hair Loss

I don’t think any of us ever questioned just exactly what causes our hair to look so fab after using dry shampoo. As long as we woke up breathing with hair on our heads, it’s fine. But, dry shampoo is actually made of chemicals that aren’t really all that great for our hair. Whether you use it excessively or encounter it for the first time, you could basically develop dermatitis after use. You fucking guessed it—anything that ends with “itis” is a bigger red flag than a “U up?” text. This is a severe allergic reaction that causes intense irritation, which may result in drastic hair loss in the long-term. You’re not, like, guaranteed to lose all your hair if you abuse dry shampoo, but if your hair is already on the thinner side, be wary.

2. It Can Contribute To Breakouts

If you really think about it, dry shampoo is just a spray we leave on all day and don’t think about. Naturally. Since it’s just a product sitting on our scalp for hours on end, it’s seriously clogging up our pores. Just fuck me up, honestly. It continues to build up oils, dirt, and bacteria, which then = scalpne (scalp + acne), and since this is your head we’re talking about, the build-up can trail down to your upper forehead where it may wreak havoc as well. *Screams internally*

3. It Might Irritate Your Scalp

Before the damage gets to your hair, it starts with your scalp. Since dry shampoo comes into contact with the scalp first, it can cause a v uncomfortable irritation. Overusing dry shampoo by leaving it on for more than a day or using multiple times in a row causes a buildup of grime—even after washing! This leads to a super inflamed, itchy, and flaky scalp. Talk about gross, and talk about hella dandruff. Pass.

4. It May Stunt Your Hair Growth Fo’ Life

As we’ve already covered, dry shampoo is essentially a temporary plug for oiliness. As a result, I’ve already told you like, a million times, that the constant use and buildup of oil and grime leads to clogged up pores. When this happens too often, your hair follicles are basically suffocating and blocked from growing any further. If it gets too severe, your hair will not only begin to thin or fall out, but it will eventually stunt your hair’s growth, and you’ll probs look like a British man. IDK maybe that’s just a theory, but either way, that’s the shit we don’t like.

5. It Actually Makes Your Hair Greasier

Contrary to popular belief, if used too often, dry shampoo can actually make your hair way more greasy than it was to begin with. Although it’s supposed to absorb the oil, it continues to absorb the natural kind that our hair actually *needs* and does so while sitting on top of existing grease. After some time, your hair ends up producing more oil than it naturally does to make up for the lack of moisture. End result? Looking like a greaseball more often than not.

 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/5-ways-dry-shampoo-is-sabotaging-your-hair

5 Ways The War On Drugs Has Always Been Racist As Hell

Sometimes drugs can ruin lives, and sometimes they’re simply a fun Friday night. It’s a complicated subject, and we’re not going to take a side. We will, however, point out that a lot of so-called anti-drug efforts which authorities have put together over the years have mostly been excuses to harass minorities. We’re talking about how …

5

White Employers Got Black Employees To Use Cocaine, Then Panicked About It

Cocaine used to be just another food additive which could be found in everything from children’s pain medication to pop. You’d think its 1914 ban would’ve come down to “Holy shit, we’re putting cocaine in everything, what the hell were we thinking? It must have been all the … oh.” But while people were aware of the dangers of cocaine abuse among middle- and upper-class white Americans, that’s not why it was banned. Instead, lawmakers were driven by the early 20th century equivalent of a racist chain email from your grandpa. There were stories of black Americans supposedly abusing cocaine, gaining superhuman strength, and using that strength to attack white men and sexually assault white women.

Wiki Commons
Using up precious cocaine earmarked for white children.

If you’re wondering what happened to the “black people gain drug-based superpowers and use them to commit crime” chapter of your history book, then obvious spoiler alert: It wasn’t really happening. What was happening was that cocaine use among black laborers was widespread. Its recreational use was tolerated, and sometimes white employers were explicitly giving it to their workers, in both cases because they believed it would make the employees work harder. We, uh … we used to be pretty dumb when it came to drugs.

Somehow, the “let’s give our workers coke” strategy backfired, as ridiculous stories began to spread. In 1914, The New York Times ran an article claiming that “most of the attacks upon white women of the South are the direct result of the ‘cocaine-crazed’ Negro brain” and “Negro cocaine fiends are now a known Southern menace.” While “Negro Cocaine Fiends” would be a great ironic album title, there was, shockingly, no evidence of crazed black people running wild.

While widespread use of cocaine probably wasn’t great for anyone’s disposition, “news” reports claimed that cocaine made black men hallucinate taunts and abuse, as well as gain incredible accuracy with guns and immunity to bullet wounds which would stop or kill a sober man. Holy shit! Why wasn’t cocaine being used in secret supersoldier projects? Oh, right, because it was all bullshit. But the 1914 ban was passed anyway thanks to those myths, and not out of fact-based concerns about the health risks of cocaine. (Because white people could handle their coke, goddammit!)

If you want a silver lining, the ban largely put a stop to lynchings of black men based on the “We think he’s high on coke, so he probably raped someone or whatever” clause. It also, uh, fueled nasty, often lethal stereotypes about impoverished minorities and drugs for decades to come, but that’s something, right?

4

Banning Alcohol From Native American Reservations Has Its Roots In A Myth That They’re Genetically Unable To Handle Booze

Yeah, there’s a running trend of white people thinking other people react differently to intoxicating substances. You may have heard the still-prevalent idea that the genes of Native Americans make them biologically prone to alcohol abuse. Supposedly, when Europeans introduced Natives to alcohol, their bodies didn’t know how to handle it and a tremendous cultural struggle with alcoholism ensued. No sir, it wasn’t the depression and trauma of watching their friends and family die while their culture and lifestyle were extinguished which contributed to alcohol abuse — it was biology! Not whitey’s fault, so deal with it.

William Faden
“After all, they did trade Manhattan for four six-packs.”

It is true that Native Americans experience problems with alcohol … at a rate equal to white people. But thanks to stereotypes, we tend to view alcoholism among Natives as a moral failing endemic to their culture, while an alcoholic white guy is some dude with a problem who doesn’t reflect on other white people. Natives do experience more alcohol-related health problems than whites, but that’s because as a group, they have inferior access to healthcare, healthy food, etc. — a problem which is a subject for a future wacky comedy article.

For governing whites, prohibition laws on Native reservations were seen as a quick and easy way to address alcoholism. Natives can’t handle their booze, so cut them off and punish those who try to keep drinking. But Natives tended to see prohibition as white people trying to force a solution on them … to address a problem which they also forced on them. It’s like if someone smashed your car window and then took away your driver’s license because they said you were a bad driver for letting your window get smashed.

But even if the root causes are horrible stereotypes, prohibition is still meant to help, right? It’s certainly an improvement from the days when laws against selling booze to Natives were lifted so settlers could turn a tidy profit from alcohol abuse. But “meant” is the keyword there. If you treat Native American alcohol abuse as a unique and more desperate problem than it is among other people, you create brand-new problems. Stereotypes about Natives and alcoholism can make them too embarrassed to seek medical treatment, and it can also lead to Natives who have never touched a drink in their lives getting rejected from jobs. Hey, do you think those kind of bullshit economic punishments might contribute to alcohol abuse?

Also, a total ban on alcohol leads to people getting arrested for possession of a single beer, even though the stigma of having a criminal record is going to do someone more harm than one can of Bud Light. In one especially depressing incident, one cousin stabbed another to death over a bottle of beer, which A) might not have happened if beer wasn’t illegal, and B) is a clear sign that prohibition isn’t working. Could the truly atrocious living conditions on many reservations be contributing to incidents like that? Nah, they probably just can’t handle their firewater, right?

3

America’s War Against Opium Was Fueled By The Fear Of Race-Mixing

Another trend in antique drug laws is a baseless belief that minorities were stealing away white women and enabling the heinous crime of race-mixing (and implicitly, the equally heinous crime of white women not having sex with racist white dudes, even though they were totally nice guys who had their best interests at heart). Exhibit #317-B is San Francisco circa 1875, when Chinese immigrants, mostly railroad and mine workers, liked to unwind after a long day on the job by smoking opium. Hey, we’ve all been there.

The Bancroft Library
“Mondays, right?”

White locals accused the Chinese of taking jobs from them during a rough economic downturn (technically true, but they were performing dangerous labor for shit pay, which is the kind of job that white locals tend to turn down or not even be offered). That complaint somehow morphed into accusations that opium dens were “girl traps.” The Chinese supposedly lured white women and teens into their dens with opium-laced candy and other treats until they were addicted and willing to have sex for more, which maybe says more about the people dreaming up such accusations than anything else.

So San Francisco outlawed opium smoking in 1875. But this was a nationwide belief. In New York City in 1883, a local worrywart set up surveillance teams to keep an eye on suspected opium dens which were supposedly corrupting white women. Tellingly, this surveillance was done by people from other neighborhoods, as most local whites didn’t have an issue with their Chinese neighbors. But they called the police whenever they suspected a stranger’s vagina was in peril, and a series of raids uncovered … a 19-year-old woman. Singular. Who didn’t appear to be an addicted sex slave. Claims that girls as young as ten were escaping before the police showed up were unproven, probably because they were super-duper made up.

But troublesome “facts” didn’t stop people from declaring that “hundreds of American girls” were becoming “associates and then slaves of the Mongolian” (old-timey racists weren’t big on demographic accuracy). So by 1909, Congress had made opium smoking, and only smoking, illegal nationwide. Drinking and injecting tinctures — how white Americans liked their medicinal and recreational opium — was still totally cool for a while, presumably as long as you pinky swore not to seduce dozens of sex slaves with the contents of your medicine cabinet.

2

Alcohol Prohibition Was An Anti-Immigrant And Anti-Black Panic

Prohibition and the events leading up to it had all sorts of complex causes. But one of those causes was a bunch of tedious people getting together to complain about immigrants — specifically the still-viewed-as-extremely-anti-American Germans and Irish and their love of beer. Because when history is at its worst, the masses are swayed to the side of the people complaining about beer instead of enjoying it.

In 1855 Chicago, the mayor and his followers were concerned about the influence of foreigners who took jobs and pledged spiritual allegiance to one of the most dastardly villains in history: the Pope. Gasp! They were especially distrusting of Irish and German immigrants, who liked to hit the pub on Sunday, their one day off. The Chicago Tribune called Irish Catholics “depraved, worthless and irredeemable drunkards and sots which curse the community.” We’re assuming that “sot” was a harsh burn back then.

So Chicago dusted off an old law which required taverns to be closed on Sunday … but only enforced it in immigrant communities. Chicago also sextupled the price of an annual liquor license to $300 (about 7,800 modern dollars) to try to drive immigrant bars out of business. 200 tavern owners were brought up on charges, and when the first one went to trial, there were massive protests, because you don’t fuck with a 19th century working man’s booze. One protester was killed, the mayor’s political career tanked, and the laws were eventually repealed, but it wasn’t the end of anti-letting-immigrants-drink sentiment.

The Prohibition movement was in full swing during World War I, and as you hopefully remember from history class, Germany was on team Not America. So Prohibitionist propaganda linked beer and brewing with Germany, and therefore treason. Prohibitionists also connected drinking with the Irish and other immigrants, with one congressman calling foreign drinkers the “degenerate vote” which “overwhelmed the liberties of free people” and were a “menace to our institutions.” Irish Americans were accused of being unpatriotic if they opposed Prohibition or the war, which silenced dissent.

Meanwhile, in the South, “colored only” saloons were declared “centers of vice, schools of iniquity, and hot-beds of crime.” Prohibitionists dressed the movement up as concern for those poor black people who were spending all their money and “[feeding] their animalism,” but they also accused black saloons of threatening the safety of white women and children. Because who knew what those dastardly blacks were planning when whites couldn’t keep an eye on them?

Again, Prohibition was complicated, but to some proponents, taking away one of the joys of minorities while making them less scary to the sort of people who wring their hands a lot was a big plus. One Southern Prohibitionist even argued that getting rid of saloons could prevent a race war and keep black Americans from rampaging through the streets, because ready access to alcohol was obviously the only reason black Southerners might get mad at white Southerners.

1

Numerous Government Officials Have Confirmed That Laws Against Drugs Are Based On Race

So far we’ve only given you historical examples, but you know what they say about history repeating itself to screw over minorities. Here, for example, is a 2015 interview with a former DEA agent who says they were told not to target drug sellers and users in rich areas, even though drugs are as prevalent there as anywhere else. The reasoning was that rich (read: mostly white) people have connections to lawyers, politicians, and judges who could make life a living hell for the DEA, while people in poorer areas (read: generally nonwhite people) wouldn’t be able to fight back.

You can find comments like that throughout American history. In the ’30s, Harry Anslinger, one of the big shots behind cannabis laws, said, “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” and, “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” It’s admittedly kind of refreshing to hear someone be openly racist instead of trying to dress it up as being “for their own good,” although it sounds like Mrs. Anslinger probably had an unsatisfying marriage.


Ironic, considering her husband was named “Anslinger.”

Now let’s skip through time to a 2016 article on a 1994 talk with John Ehrlichman, one of Nixon’s top advisors and a Watergate jailbird. He told Harper’s, “The Nixon White House had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people … We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” He then presumably twirled his mustache and demanded one billion dollars, or else he would melt the ice caps.

The Nixon administration’s official line was that they were responding to a heroin epidemic and an uptick in the smoking of jazz cigarettes, as we believe the cool kids still call weed. And to be fair, several of Ehrlichman’s children and colleagues called bullshit on his statements, suggesting he either never said them or was being sarcastic (the writer who talked to Ehrilchman thinks he was serious and trying to atone). Nixon did establish drug education and addiction treatment programs, but also signed off on no-knock searches and is on record as referring to black Americans as “little Negro bastards” who “live like a bunch of dogs.” Again, drugs are complicated. You’re welcome to draw your own conclusions.

But while you’re reaching those conclusions, keep in mind that the drug war is incarcerating African American men at a rate about four times worse than black South Africans were during apartheid. Oh, and thanks to drug laws, there are more black men in the prison system than there were black men enslaved in 1850. So … maybe a change in strategy is in order here.

Mark is on Twitter and has a book.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25139_5-ways-war-drugs-has-always-been-racist-as-hell.html

This is How Much The Friends Apartments Would Cost Today

Everything I’ve learned in life, I learned from . No, not my core group of Comm-majoring-drunk on-a-Wednesday-afternoon-losers—I’m talking about the six greatest people you will ever meet on the single greatest sitcom you will ever see (except for Ross and don’t @ me on that). Like, I’d never survive my 20s had I not learned that counting Mississippily when spray tanning results in borderline blackface, “meat sweats” are a legit medical condition, and being “on a break” apparently doesn’t mean I have a free pass at drunk-dialing my ex.

But out of everything, this is hands down the most valuable piece of info I’ve learned:

JK, that one I actually did learn from my own friends’ mistakes. But something I was forced to learn the hard way was that spending weekday afternoons in a coffeehouse bitching to my friends about being ghosted doesn’t result in me coming home to my comfy downtown loft with takeout (the ‘90s term for Seamless) every night. Not that shacking it in a studio apartment with three other people plotting ways to divvy up the remaining $12.35 balance on my debit card isn’t my definition of fun, but it’d be cool if someone gave me a heads up that life was gonna be this way, ya know? Anyway, I know your job’s a joke, you’re probably broke, and your love life… wellppp… but the friends would’ve been much worse off had their apartments been IRL-priced, so grab a bottle and chill the fuck out.

Joey & Chandler’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: 90 Bedford St., #19 New York NY
Rent: $4,200/month

I won’t discredit the size of Joey and Chandler’s apartment located across the hall from Monica’s, but I will discredit Joey’s acting career, which was comparable to gas station sushi. After being killed off early on, he went flat broke (as do most acting wannabes). Luckily, Joey had Chandler to save him from being a full-time dumpster diver, but Chandler was forced to provide for Joey and two farm animals on a transponster whatever-the-fuck-he-does’s salary for at least five seasons, which makes no sense.

A 2-bed/1-bath apartment in West Village that’s big enough to fit a foosball table and two Barcaloungers isn’t as shocking as the $4,200/month rent Chandler put down, which is like $2,850/month 18 years ago (yes, you’re old af), and that’s on the lower end of the spectrum, assuming the place hadn’t yet been tampered with during a game of “Hammer Darts” or “Extreme Fireball.” That rent also doesn’t include the utility bills and other shit Chandler had to pay for, like Joey’s health insurance and will to live, but honestly thank god for Joey, or Chan would prob still be half a virgin by now.

Ross’ (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: Somewhere across the street from Monica’s place
Rent: $4,500/month

If it wasn’t for Ross pulling the No. 1 fuckboy move and mixing up his hoes in different area codes almost marrying that British bitch with a scone up her ass, he’d still be living in a typical NYC shithole. Instead, he found an apartment with a bird’s-eye view of his sister’s and best friend’s sexcapades every night (EW). But out of every character’s living situation, the only believable one just so happens to be Ross’s, thanks to his career as a doctor paleontologist/college professor who sometimes fucks his students.

A 2-bed/1-bath, 700-square-foot apartment in the same West Village neighborhood as Monica averages to about $4,500/month, which would’ve been about $3,054/month back in ‘99. And considering Ross threw a bitch fit (when tf did he not?) about his fucking apothecary table that one time, I’d assume his bougie dino cave was equipped with an updated interior and (prob) fossilized foliage preserved in the wood flooring or some shit. Therefore, it’d likely be at the more expensive end of this rent spectrum.

Monica’s (& Rachel’s & Chandler’s & Phoebe’s) Apartment

Address: 90 Bedford St., #20 New York NY
Rent: $8,500+/month

Monica illegally subletting her grandma’s old apartment for 10+ years is the kind of savagery I strive to reach one day. But you seriously have to be a verified idiot to think that a ‘50s diner cook with flame-retardant boobs and a barista with waitressing skills as abominable as Blake Lively’s acting career would live comfortably in a 1,500-square-foot apartment, and not to mention while also feeding four other mooch-y parasite friends who apparently enter and eat and leave as they please.

She and Rachel were only paying $300/month living in their 2-bed/1-bath open floor plan apartment with a balcony that’s been rent controlled since apparently 600 B.C. Yeah, I said $300, like one pair of Khloé’s stupidly priced denim line, or a weekend bar tab. I already mentioned that 700(ish)-square-foot apartments in West Village average $4,200/month, so just double the rent for double the floor plan and maybe pop a Xanny immediately after.

Phoebe’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: 5 Morton St. # 14, New York, NY
Actual Rent: $3,400/month

First off, I’m calling bullshit on Phoebe and this whole freelance masseuse thing which, looking back, was def a fancy term for the upscale West Village prostitute, Regina Phalange. You heard it here first. This brings me to my next issue. Phoebe might’ve also inherited her 1-bed/1-bath apartment from her grandma, but I’d rather believe the blatant lie that is Trump’s latest tweet than believe that a freelance masseuse, who literally cancelled on and fucked over 90% of her clients every episode, made a comfortable living in Manhattan.

Her decent-sized 1-bed/1-bath pad, which was later turned into a 2-bed when Denise lived with her (K WHO TF WAS DENISE?!), was located four blocks from the rest of the friends’ apartments with an average monthly rent of $3,400 ($2,300 in the ‘90s), but there’s still no fucking way she’d be able to make rent while also doing this thing called LIVING. And do NOT even think about bringing the loose pocket change and occasional condom tips from Phoebe’s open mic days into this equation. #ItsNotSmellyCatsFault

Phoebe’s Rundown Buick LeSabre

Address: Probably some alleyway in Hunts Point
Rent: Stolen

Ok, so we never really saw Phoebe’s life pre-friends (or we did if you count watching ), but we do know that she lived a fucking badass/hard-knock life by living in a rundown Buick LeSabre on the streets of New York growing up. I mean, she mugged prepubescent goober Ross who collected rocks instead of Hot Wheels, and that in and of itself is iconic.

Based on the cost of gas to keep her car warm in the winter, the medical costs from getting Hepatitis after a pimp spit in her mouth, the shared funeral costs for her mom who killed herself, and the priceless cost of living to tell it all, Phoebe is a fucking legend and a probable alien, but mostly a complete mystery that I will dedicate the rest of my life to cracking the case on.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/how-much-each-friends-apartment-would-cost-today

3 Terrifying Pieces Of Anti-Woman Legislation You Need To Know About Right Now

When I mention your body’s biggest enemy, you probably have something that came immediately to mind: your thighs, your arms, the pimple you got from dropping kettle corn into your mouth/all over your face so you could eat without sitting up for normal adult reasons. Or maybe you thought of the parade of fuckboys last few bros you banged who confirmed for you that some people just weren’t built to interact with the female body. This second guess is closer to what I’m actually talking about, because it similarly concerns a group of largely white men (if you’d like to fight me on your sexual history, feel free, I’m just taking a guess) who have no business with women’s bodies, and yet can’t leave them the fuck alone. Those people are called YOUR GOVERNMENT. (Mic drop, I am political.)

In all honesty, I probably don’t have a single friend who would describe me as political; I don’t even feel like I ignore the news on purpose, it just kind of floats past me, like everything that was ever said in a high school history class. But because I’m a selfish bitch I care about my readers very much, when I hear about bullshit new measures that will negatively affect my body both on a daily basis and in times of need, I am going to listen the fuck up and urge you all to do the same. Here’s a rundown of the three scariest pieces of legislation aimed to limit women’s choices right now—and for those of you with any remaining doubts that I really do not usually care/write about politics, please know that I literally just Googled the word “legislation” to make sure I was using it correctly. Feels good.

1. Remember When Obama Made Your Boss Pay for Your Birth Control? Yeah, That’s Over.

In a continued bid to out-evil Satan, Trump made a fun little announcement last Friday: He’s shut down the Obama-era law requiring most employers to cover co-pay-free birth control, an amazing measure we definitely all took completely for granted. Now, in the nation of Gilead Trump’s America, employers will be able to cite “religious or moral objection” to covering birth control, and BAM: You can no longer afford brunch, because that budget has been re-allocated to your “not getting pregnant” fund. Oh, and regardless of your birth control type, this shit is not cheap: My employer insurance had a fun two-week blackout last month and I was charged $200 for a 30-day supply of my GENERIC birth control pill. So don’t even try to come at me with that “just pay out of pocket, mer mer mer, women want everything for free” shit, TYLER.

Proposed Solution: If there is a guy you are regularly having sex with, and your birth control coverage is affected, ask him to pay for half. I know this doesn’t effect change on a policy level, but as a group, can women please stop accepting sole financial responsibility for preventing pregnancy? If the guy you’re fucking starts whining about the cost, just tell him there’s a 100% free alternative: You can stop having sex with him, forever.

2. 20 Weeks Pregnant? Cool, You’re Having a Baby Now.

Though this isn’t yet in immediate effect like the above measure, a bill recently passed through the House of Representatives criminalizing abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Never mind the fact that if our government hates abortions so much, they probably shouldn’t have repealed the access to free birth control, which conveniently yielded lower abortion rates than we had in 1973, when abortion was made legal nation-wide. Never mind the disgustingly insulting title for this bill of “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which would perhaps have been more aptly titled “Pain-Capable and Very Much Born Adult Woman Punishment Act.” In this case, let’s focus on the fact that one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, was literally texting his mistress to GET AN ABORTION while passing this bill through the House. Everything about this bill (and its relation to less-available birth control) is so alarmingly nonsensical that I’m almost ready to start buying into lizard-person theories. Given the one season I watched of , I feel like “handling” a mistress’ pregnancy is basically a rite of passage for most politicians—so why are they so fucking intent on making sure those abortions need to be illegal and unsafe? It’s definitely not a conspiracy to have more women die during the procedure, rendering them unable to talk about the affair, right? Wait…right?

3. A Special-Edition Coverage Slash For Pre-Pregnant, Pregnant, And Post-Pregnant Women

This bad boy, otherwise known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, is luckily having a lot of trouble getting passed, so there’s chance you won’t actually have to deal with this specifically. Which is good because I JUST spent two hours of my Monday at a Planned Parenthood phone bank defeating this nightmare of a bill that keeps popping back up like a zombie Whack-A-Mole, can I live for one week?? But honestly, every proposed healthcare reform bill this garbage-monster administration has spewed out has been pretty similarly shitty, so expect comparable measures if they manage to get anything through. This particular bill has gone ahead and banned women on Medicaid from visiting Planned Parenthood (straight up, I do not know what Medicaid is, but oh my god just allow women access to appropriate healthcare, our bodies are more complicated than yours and we fucking need it). Also, it’s restricted abortion coverage and maternity care in the same bill, so really (unless you’re a politician’s mistress!), these people would like to ensure that you get pregnant, stay pregnant, and bear the emotional, physical, and financial burden of that pregnancy all on your own. Just like how you got pregnant all on your own, without the help of any second party. Right.

Basically, the only common thread of these new measures is that our government doesn’t give a shit about you or your body. There’s no ideological or economic background that makes any sense, much like when Dean started motorboating D-Lo in the pool, thus jeopardizing his supposed “deep emotional connection” with Kristina, and the lucrative fandom love that could have launched a thousand Instagram sponsorships. So, I encourage you to start thinking about our government the way you think about the fuckboys we deal with on a daily basis: Until they shape the fuck up, we’ll be heavily looking into alternative options. You don’t let fuckboys tell you what to do with your body, so let’s get them out of these government positions where they can literally charge you for going against their dumbass ideas on what your body has access to.

 
 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/3-anti-women-healthcare-legislation

Here Are Your Weekend Horoscopes For October 6-8th

It’s Friday, and you know what that means: It’s the freakin’ weekend. But how should you spend the weekend? Should you spend it sippin’ on Coke and rum, screaming “so what I’m drunk” to anyone who dares question you? Should you spend it asleep? Read your weekend horoscope to find out, and then get drunk anyway because we know that’s what you’re gonna do no matter what the stars say. 

Aries

Work got you down, Aries? Like, more than usual? After a summer of easy living and minimal office hours, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. But you also don’t want to be that lazy asshole who is very obviously sitting at her desk taking Buzzfeed quizzes all day. What’s a girl to do? Use this weekend to decompress as much as humanly possible. You need to walk into work fresh-faced, bushy-tailed, and ready to do work on Monday, which means Saturday and Sunday need to be as tranquil as humanly possible. In general, make any off time an oasis to motivate yourself to get through the day.

Taurus

You know the saying work hard, play hard, Taurus? Well, it only applies if you keep up both ends of the bargain. Your work has left a little to be desired these past few weeks, which isn’t really being aided by the amount of playing you’re doing. Let this weekend serve as a detox of sorts: Cut the alcohol, maybe start sleeping again, see how a book treats you. You know, fun, peaceful stuff. Feel free to go hard on the partying once you get your work balance back to where it used to be.

Gemini

Things aren’t always going to go your way, Gemini. I know that can be hard to hear, seeing as how you demand almost the exact opposite, but this is going to be a weekend of tough truths. Our advice? Roll with the punches, and supplement with vodka when necessary. If it gets to be too much, just remove yourself from the equation and hide yourself away. There’s no shame in bowing out when you’ve had too much.

Cancer

Your life has been a whirlwind of movement and activity these past few weeks, Cancer, but it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Step one of resuming a normal life: Reconnect with your friends. It’s been long enough that you may have some difficulty recognizing each other, but it’s nothing an extended happy hour can’t fix. Once you’re back with your people and feeling grounded, it’ll be easier to move on to righting the rest of your life.

Leo

This weekend you’ll be presented with the opportunity to widen your circle and interact with some people that you typically wouldn’t. Sure, this sounds like a recipe for disaster on about 100 different levels, but armed with some solid allies and a little alcohol, there’s no harm in moving outside your comfort zone. It’s nice to branch out every once in a while, if anything to remind ourselves why we steadfastly avoid it every other weekend of the year.

Virgo

This is a weekend to take things easy, Virgo. While you’re not necessarily in hot water at the moment, one wrong step could put you into a very precarious situation with more than one person in your life. Your best bet is navigating this weekend carefully, opting to stay under the radar when possible. Things will ease up in the next couple weeks, but it would behoove you to tread lightly until then.

Libra

It’s birthday season, Libra! Congrats on making it to the most important time of the year. Your only job this weekend, and for the next couple weeks tbh, is to be as extra as possible. None of your friends can be mad, because those bitches will do the exact same thing when it’s their turn. Let the “treat yo’self” mentality start this weekend, as if you don’t live the rest of the year in the exact same way.

Scorpio

What’s good, Scorpio? Certainly not your luck. There’s just been something about the start of this month that has truly fucked with you, and you haven’t been able to catch a break all week. The good news: It’ll pass. The bad news: Not before the end of this weekend. We all have off-periods from time to time, it’s nothing to freak out about. But maybe try and avoid any high-stress situations this weekend in the hopes of flying under the radar until things turn around for you.

Sagittarius

Looking for a change, Sagittarius? It’s obvious you’re feeling restless, but the question is what are you trying to accomplish here? Fall is a great time for new starts, so if you’re looking to turn over a new leaf, this would be the perfect weekend to start. Use the next two days to get introspective af. Drink some tea, take some walks, sit on rocks and gaze into the distance. Whatever it takes to get you into decision-making mode, do it. You’re going to be making some big moves, be sure to take it seriously.

Capricorn

It’s time to start taking better care of yourself, Capricorn, in literally every sense of the world. You’ve taken a bit of a tumble off the self-care wagon, and this is the weekend you dive back on. Maybe you want to start eating healthier—spend the next two days recipe researching and meal prepping for the week ahead. Not feeling active enough? Get out there and enjoy the last of this weather before winter hits. Or take a mental health approach and spend your time adjusting your mindset. All that matters is that, come Monday, you feel like you’ve taken a real step to a happier, healthier you.

Aquarius

This is a big weekend for you, Aquarius. Some long-term plans are falling into place and you’re finally making real progress. Congrats! However, we know that you’re doing anything but celebrating. While some would be relieved by this by the idea of moving forward, you’re already knee-deep in analyzing and planning phase two. This weekend, give yourself a bit of a break from coordinating your life and let loose a little. It may be your last chance to blow off some steam for the foreseeable future, so kick back with a bottle of wine and leave the frantic shit for next Monday.

Pisces

October holds some real opportunity for you, Pisces. The planets are aligning for a productive month, but that doesn’t mean you can just sit back and coast. Doesn’t matter how generous Mercury is feeling if you spend the next three weeks on your ass. This weekend, take some time to establish a game plan for the things you want to get after this month. You’ll feel better knowing you’ve put some thought into something other than the season premiere of next week, and you’ll feel empowered Monday knowing you’ve got a plan moving forward.

 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/weekend-horoscopes-10-6-17

The 7 Psychotic Things Your Favorite Celebs Do To Stay Healthy

Look, I’ve tried a lot of bizarre diets and weird beauty hacks in my day. From Paleo, to Atkins, to low-carb to high-carb to Keto to vegan to juicing to brothing to counting calories and exercising, I’ve done it all, and most betches can say the same. Can you blame us? We’re bored and practically willing to do anything to avoid regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. With that being said, there are certain lines we just won’t cross. Like, sometimes you just know that a certain ingredient doesn’t belong in your body or on your skin, and there are no further questions, no matter how many times Jennifer Aniston endorsed it. Celebrities are obviously insane, and some of them go to v dramatic lengths to stay healthy. Here’s some of the craziest shit they do.

1. Kate Upton Takes Wheatgrass Shots In her Eyeballs

This news just came out, and it’s honestly what prompted me to do more research on these weird celebrity health habits. Why the fuck would anyone put wheatgrass shots in their eyes, you may be wondering? Apparently it’s supposed to hydrate your eyes, and Kate swears by it. “I wear contacts, and the wheatgrass really works,” she said in an interview. “It basically hydrates your eyeballs. It’s like flushing out your eye.”

2. Miley Cyrus Spreads Avocado On Her Face

A couple years ago, Miley posted a pic on Instagram with the caption, “The avocado obsesh is mad real.” I mean, we obviously agree with that statement (cue my 500 avocado toast orders), but like, not on our faces. The picture shows the avocado spread all over her face like guac, and it literally has chunks in it. I’m gonna vom. I really don’t care if it makes your skin smooth or clear or whatever, it’s gross. Can we stick with a mud mask next time?

3. Reese Witherspoon Eats 10 Jars Of Baby Food Everyday

I’m literally trying not to gag while thinking about this diet. Baby food is meant for babies, just like dog food is meant for dogs (although I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a new weight loss trend at this point.) I mean, relatively speaking, I guess this isn’t the most inedible diet ever, but baby food is just mushed up fruits and veggies, so why don’t you just eat fruits and vegetables instead? Or like, a smoothie? Reese, you make no sense to me.

4. Gwyneth Paltrow Sprays Silver On Her Airplane Seat

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Queen of wellness and Goop guru Gwyneth sprays her airplane seat with literal silver before a flight. Apparently this spray is sold by naturopathic medicine brands, and it’s made with potassium, distilled water, and actual silver. People say it fights off bacteria and viruses. IDK. Let’s keep in mind this is done by the woman who gets her vagina steamed, so you do you, Gwyneth.

5. Kourtney Kardashian Drinks Avocado & Sugar For Breakfast

We’ve already talked about the health benefits of Kourtney Kardashian’s daily lemon water, but I think it’s time to talk about what the fuck this girl actually eats for breakfast, because it’s alarming. Kourtney literally blends an avocado with sugar and drinks it as a smoothie, and like, sometimes eats with a spoon. Is this healthy? Is it good? Is anyone else getting hazing PTSD from the concoctions you had to drink as a pledge? So many questions, and I’d like some answers.

6. Madonna Bathes In Basil

This situation actually sounds kind of relaxing, but it’s also super weird. Madonna reportedly takes a basil bath on the reg, which literally consists of a bathtub filled with herbs. Basil is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory agent, so it can help combat stress and muscle pain and apparently make you look amazing. I mean, this sounds time-consuming and annoying, but if this is why Madonna looks so good at age 60, I can get down with a basil bath every now and then. But like, does the basil get stuck in the drain at the end? I need to know.

7. January Jones Eats Her Own Placenta

Um, was this cleared by a doctor?! January Jones once told reporters that she eats her own placenta in capsule form everyday. She claims “your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins,” which is still not a reason to eat it, if you ask me. She says she recommends it to all moms, but whether or not anyone wants to take her new mommy tip is questionable. I’m really not over this. Your own placenta?! Really? I can’t. Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/psychotic-things-kourtney-kardashian-reese-witherspoon-and-other-celebs-do-to-stay-healthy

I Live In Centralia, PA: It’s America’s Creepiest Ghost Town

Get intimate with our new podcast Cracked Gets Personal. Subscribe for fascinating episodes like My Job Was Killing People: 3 Soldiers Tell Us Everything and Behind Every War News Story Is A 20-Something College Kid.

In 1962, there was a trash fire in a strip mine beneath Centralia, Pennsylvania. Well, we say “was” — there still is. That unassuming little fire ignited an eternal hellish blaze which burns underground to this day. Centralia is one of the most famous ghost towns on earth, but the term “ghost town” is not perfectly accurate, because a handful of people still live there. We spoke with a few former residents, Jack and Becky, as well as one current resident, Jack’s dad, “Guy.” They told us …

5

The Earth Literally Eats People And Animals

Centralia was a thriving mining town right up until that whole “perpetual hellfire” thing. The land beneath it is honeycombed with mines and tunnels, and the fires have spread all through them. Sometimes the ground up and collapses, devouring whatever surface life lies above with its terrible burning maw. Jack explained: “The scariest things are the sinkholes. You need to watch your step in the woods, because the ground can give way. The fire might have burnt through a foot of coal, but the ground looks like it’s at the level it’s always been. So you step out there and you have some people coming back with broken ankles.”

Really, broken ankles aren’t all that bad compared to some of the things people in other towns face. But Centralia’s sinkholes are more ambitious than that: “The incident that told everyone ‘Maybe we should move’ was when a young kid down the street had a sinkhole collapse around him, and he was sucked down. His mother was watching him, turned around, and when she looked back, he was gone into the pit. This pit went 100 feet down, and looked like a cone if you looked down. He would have died if his arms weren’t stretched out. When they pulled him out, a huge plume of smoke came out, and you could just see the fire at the bottom of the hole.”

That boy, Todd Domboski, survived and presumably went on to write a bestselling book about his escape from the bowels of Hell. Other human-sized creatures in Centralia have not been as lucky.

PBS
We keep waiting for glowing eyes to appear.

“Every once in a while, you would come across a deer sticking out vertically with steam billowing out. They looked like they were crawling out. The poor deer had fallen into a sinkhole and had either starved to death or suffocated to death from the fumes. My friends would claim to see smoke coming out of its mouth, like it had been burnt alive, but it was just the way the smoke came out.”

This means the kids who grew up in Centralia before it was completely abandoned had to deal with death on a pretty regular basis. Becky told us about watching the violent death of a neighbor’s cat: “We were swinging in the backyard, and this patch of grass suddenly turned brown. Their cat was standing there, and it suddenly became brown. It didn’t make any noise, and we thought she had done something to make it all suddenly brown, like flipping a sheet over. But it was just another hole, and the cat went down. We didn’t say anything until we jumped off and went over to the fence to see that it was another sinkhole, and we called out to our neighbor, but after some light digging (NEVER go into a sinkhole by yourself), her cat was gone.”

Asphalt Films

Sinkholes even caused an entire stretch of highway to be rerouted after holes and gas buckled parts of it back in 1994. The state did its best to hide the old highway, but because of the dangers lurking beneath, they never got rid of it. And it’s still there, waiting for George Miller to make a much more colorful Mad Max sequel.

4

Life In A Ghost Town Is … Interesting

Underneath Centralia, the endless fire has created an environment as deadly as the surface of Saturn. While the gases aren’t lethal up above, they still play hell with the resident’s health. Poison gas has even built up in some citizens’ basements. Guy explained how that all simply became part of the weather in Centralia. “We always had the smoke, and my wife felt sick if she was near it. We stay away from it. It’s bad news. Only the tourists go into the damn thing.”

And Becky elaborated: “There was a lot of coughing. If you know what black lung is [this], it’s what the coughing sounded like. It’s this cough where you can hear the mucus. Worse than what smokers have. If you spent enough time near the smoke, you got a cough like that. And if you were a miner developing black lung, who smoked and spent time near the smoke, like my dad, then you knew when they were home, because you heard the worst cough in the world. If you went to a nearby store and you heard the cough, odds are they were from Centralia.”

This isn’t all in the past. Toxic gases still billow from burnt-out places, and that poses a major threat. Vents were built to pipe the steam away from town into areas of eminent domain where no one lives anymore.

Due to all the underground damage, many homes need additional supports (especially if the former houses next door were means of support for them), so they look like they have six or seven chimneys.

Becky points out that the fame of Centralia also means a lot of tourism. She lived there until her 20s, and while she was in grade school, her dying town became a Halloween vacation destination: “Everyone wanted to trick or treat near me. They didn’t care that they got less candy. They wanted to be scared. A few years some of that steam would rise, or it would be foggy. With all the abandoned houses, it was better than a haunted house. To them. Me, it was another day.”

Even outside of Halloween, tourists would come by just to take in the poisonous “atmosphere” in Centralia. “Whenever people visited from, say, Harrisburg or Lancaster, they would get scared easily. The ground would give out from under them and they’d fall in to their knees, and they’d go ‘Oh my God!’ I was so used to it that I said, ‘Sometimes it does that,’ and went on. This wasn’t unusual. My mom or dad would say not to go into the steam and to stay away from the ‘openings,’ and they always asked what that was. When they found out, they asked if they were going to die, and my dad, eloquent as ever, would say, ‘Oh, probably not.’ Not to be funny, but actually being serious about it.”

3

People Just … Didn’t Care About The Danger

People are remarkably good at ignoring imminent doom. For evidence of this, read absolutely any newspaper in the world today. It wasn’t until 1984, after several kids were sucked into sinkholes and the underground tanks at a local gas station nearly exploded, that the U.S. government ordered a total evacuation of the town. People still stayed behind, so in 1992, the governor put the entire town under eminent domain. In 2002, the state took their zip code away, and in 2009, the governor announced that all holdouts would be evacuated for their own good.

There are still seven people living in Centralia.

Jack explains why many of those residents ignored the government back then, even when it was doing something as reasonable as evacuating Toxic Firetown, USA. “We had meetings with scientists explaining what was happening. They were talking to miners, some of whom had degrees, so they didn’t have to go layman.” The denizens of Centralia understood coal and the mines, but they still weren’t able to accept that their hometown was now the abode of Satan himself. “The scientists, and even other miners, were telling them that the town could fall in piece by piece or get toxic gas, but they denied it, and said they’d continue to live here because they didn’t see it. These were after pits started opening up, but they STILL said no.”

Jack’s father, Guy, isn’t exactly on the same page. He’s one of the few that stayed behind. And he did it largely to spite those damned scientists and government officials who rolled into town to talk down to him and his neighbors. “They thought they knew more than us, but they were wrong. How come the town hasn’t collapsed like they said? It’s not as bad as they said, and you see that now.”

Jack and Guy’s disagreement is nothing new. Back when the evacuation efforts started, Centralia itself was bitterly divided over whether the fire was a threat or not. Becky remembers: “My parents stayed, because they didn’t think they could afford to move. But then they got an offer for double the value of their home, and they took it. My neighbor ([the one] who owned the cat), she stayed. She had seen the danger firsthand, and lost something she loved to it, but she wasn’t budging. The last time I was there, she was shouting from her porch at some men in suits who obviously wanted her house.”

In 2013, after a battle lasting over 20 years, the remaining ten residents were allowed to stay, but once they’re gone, their homes go to the public domain. Guy sums it neatly: “It’s my home. That’s all there is to it.”

Becky thinks that for some of those last remaining residents, staying in Centralia may be less about spite and more about living in a place so dangerous it’s effectively off the grid: “My old neighbor, until the day she died, would chase off journalists with a broom and hide sprinklers in her lawn to turn them on when people got near. I know before she died, she said she was ‘in talks’ to buy a cellphone jammer, which seems incredibly illegal, but this woman was also fine with threatening to spray bug spray at tourist’s dogs.”

2

The Government Is Trying to Erase Centralia

Jack pointed out that 20 years ago, while Centralia was emptying out, the town still looked more or less like it always had. But over the last two decades, the state government has been doing its damnedest to wipe the town away. “As soon as they bought houses, they tore them down and covered them with plants. Then they took out as much of the foundations as they could. Then they removed the lip in the curb. They don’t exist, and it looks like they never did.”

We took a picture of Becky’s old house:

“See that? You can kinda tell where a driveway was. But that’s it. No sign of the huge gate we had, or of the stairs, or anything.”

Jack continues: “They took away the name. One day, all the signs were gone. All the signs showing nearby towns had been replaced, with ‘Centralia’ [left] off. They even later covered up an arrow showing a way to get to another city through Centralia, so people passing through can’t get here.”

They removed Centralia’s name from the city municipal building:

The county records office is slowly removing the town from history, which has made life tough on Jack’s dad: “When my father went in to check his property lines, it took almost half a day to find a copy, because they had trashed so much of Centralia.”

The county has also cut back on basic services for the seven people who still live there. Says Jack: “My father doesn’t get mail. Officially, Centralia has no zip code, so nothing can be sent there. Everybody needs a PO box in another town, or need their family to collect it. All of my father’s mail is sent to me. He also stopped using checks. You can’t put Centralia down anymore, due to the zip code, and he didn’t want to ‘burden’ me with putting my address down as his. He went full cash and debit.”

Becky points out that the lack of a PO box has an even more disastrous consequence: It’s made pizza delivery much more difficult. “My parents, after they took away the zip code, couldn’t just give directions to people. If they didn’t know about Centralia, they needed to be specific. I overheard my parents say to pizza guys on the phone ‘Go to Aristes. Then head south on 42. Third little street you see, halfway turn right. We’re the only house on the street.'”

1

Tourists Are Destroying The Town

Centralia had 1,000 residents in 1980. It was down to 63 in 1990, and ten in 2010. The coal industry left after the whole, uh, giant apocalyptic coal fire thing. But even with all that, Centralia could’ve survived. There’s the tourism aspect, and the fact that it’s kind of an ideal filming location.

Unfortunately, tourism’s mostly benefited neighboring towns, since the state won’t issue new business permits in Centralia. The places selling souvenirs, gasoline, and lodgings are all outside Centralia’s old borders. Since the tourists don’t bring money into town, residents have come to hate them. Jack explained: “They’ll walk on lawns and property freely, thinking it’s abandoned. They’ll always be asking, ‘Why do you live here?’ They dump trash everywhere … The worst are the tourists who leave graffiti.”

Guy has some even more complaints: “They chipped at my house. For a souvenir, like they wanted a piece of the Lord’s cross. Chip chip chip, and they took a part of my stairs. Then they wrote ‘Let it burn’ on it. Why would they do that?”

So what can he do about it? Basically nothing. Jack explains that staying in Centralia means living beyond a lot of modern conveniences … like law enforcement. “We have no police anymore. [State and county] police come through town, of course, but for something routine, it’s not a big deal.”

The town has been beaten up so badly by these visitors that, according to Jack, Hollywood doesn’t really have any interest in filming there anymore. He told us about one time that several location scouts came through town (likely working on The Road), but decided they just couldn’t work there. “The movie people came here, looked around, decided it had too much graffiti, and shot on another abandoned highway out near Pittsburgh. Other Hollywood people talked to my father quickly (Centralia residents don’t like the press), and they liked the look, but they said ‘It might be too much graffiti,’ and since they never came back, it probably was.”

weible1980/iStock
Unless Bansky was directing, then yeah.

Becky adds: “For the last five years or so, [tourists have] been way more destructive than the fire.”

Despite intermittent police crackdowns, trespassing has been on the upswing. A lot of that probably has to do with the fact that so many articles on the internet have spread the story of Centralia. So, uh, sorry about that?

Readers, trust us here: Don’t visit Centralia. And if you do, don’t draw on anything. And super duper don’t break pieces off of people’s houses. That’s just messed up. Residents have enough problems.

Evan V. Symon is a journalist and interviewer for Cracked, who was on location in Centralia and didn’t die. Have an awesome job/experience you’d like to see here? Hit us up at tips@cracked.com today!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2537-i-live-in-centralia-pa-its-americas-creepiest-ghost-town.html

5 Shocking Things Nobody Tells You About Getting Tattoos

When you think of all the issues associated with getting a tattoo, like being the absolute raddest and having all of the sex, you have to wonder: Why aren’t you getting a tattoo right now? But besides the obvious reasons you shouldn’t get a heart with your mom’s name in it tattooed right above your genitals, there are plenty you’ve probably never thought of. For example …

5

Nobody Knows What’s In Tattoo Ink

You’d think that, because it’s something you shoot into your body with a needle, people are really on the ball when it comes to making tattoo ink as safe as possible. But as inks aren’t classed as foods, drugs, or administrations, the FDA pays little to no attention when it comes to regulating them. They’re classified as a “cosmetic” product … even though it’s one that you can inject into your eyeballs. So what exactly is in tattoo ink, then? You know, except for meat?

Aside from the fact that we don’t know what happens to tattoo ink in the long term, the people who manufacture it make it nearly impossible to even find out what’s in their concoctions. However, when placed under a microscope, some inks have been found to contain heavy metals, microbes, and a boatload of carcinogens — all of which pose unacceptable health risks. And forget about cancer (never thought we’d say that); if your tattoo contains iron oxide, which used to be a fairly common ingredient in red inks, getting an MRI could cause your body to go into full meltdown. That’s because the magnetic field generated by the machine can cause these elements to generate an electrical current and basically fry your skin.

Moriel NessAiver
When your dragon art gets a little too real.

If all this talk of microbes and cancer is making your tattooed skin crawl, here’s the kicker: Because ink manufacturers won’t tell us what’s in their product, it makes removing those tattoos an extra-big pain in the ass, or wherever else you got them. If doctors knew the composition and chemical makeup of each ink, they could identify and calibrate a treatment that stands a good chance of working without putting a patient into a pain-induced coma. Without that information, however, they’re just winging it with lasers, which is much less fun than it sounds.

So what does it take to get The Man involved? Oh, they’re waiting for enough people to contract dangerous infections. As the FDA doesn’t mandate testing on tattoo ink, only a bona fide outbreak has can force them to take action. When an outbreak of nontuberculous mycobacterium (a cousin of actual tuberculosis) started afflicting tattoo owners in 2012, the infection was eventually traced back to a non-sterile ink manufacturer and the FDA finally stepped in. All it took was dozens of people oozing blood out of their skin for a few months.

4

Your Tattoo Could Totally Get You Sued For Copyright Infringement

Whether it’s hoverboards, teacup pigs, or white supremacy, people love copying trends they see on TV. So when we see our favorite fictional characters or real celebs sporting cool tattoos, some will of course want to get in on that action. But not even your skin is immune to the laws of intellectual property, and getting a pop culture tattoo might just land you a real tricky cease-and-desist order.

We’ll explain this using one of the most famous tattoos in pop culture: Mike Tyson’s temple of flame in The Hangover. When The Hangover Part II homaged his appearance by having one of the main characters drunkenly get a similar face tattoo, it got Warner Bros. sued by Victor Whitmill, the artist responsible for the original. He alleged that by reproducing the tat and including it on posters and other marketing materials without his permission, Warner Bros. committed copyright infringement. The studio tried to claim the second tattoo was a parody, showing off how stupid the original was (making it symbolic of the whole Hangover franchise), but the judge disagreed and Warner was forced to settle out of court.

Warner Bros. Pictures
Their real punishment was having to admit involvement in The Hangover Part II.

It’s an issue that’s coming up more and more in video games as well. When the popular basketball game NBA 2K created its virtual avatars, it also added their many tattoos, leading to a group (or inkling) of tattoo artists suing the makers of the game for duplicating their artwork. Their lawsuit only failed because they filed for copyright after the game’s release, not because it was dumb, but they still managed to claim damages for loss of income. In another case, when a tattoo on MMA fighter Carlos Condit appeared in UFC Undisputed, the artist responsible filed suit on the same grounds of copyright infringement.

So remember, if you ever muster the courage to get that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo tattoo on your back, make sure to leave some room for the copyright symbol right above the butt crack.

3

Recovering From Getting A Tattoo Can Take A Long Time

You know why tattoos are commonly associated with hard-smoking, hard-drinking bikers instead of, say, vape-smoking, microbrew-sipping tech workers? Because they hurt like hell to get. It’s analogous to plunging your arm into a sewing machine and asking a meth head to turn your torture into heart-shaped scar. But at least when it’s over, it’s over, right? Unfortunately, for some tattoo-havers, the real pain is only starting.

One in ten people will spend four months recovering from the medical side effects of getting a tattoo. In a survey of 300 inkbros and inkgals, 10 percent admitted to suffering from adverse reactions long after their new body art should have healed over. This could range from long-term redness to painful blisters to a nagging sense of having made a terrible mistake that will last forever.

Oh, and there’s one other teeny-tiny medical side effect: You might be making it harder to get diagnosed with cancer. In 2013, a German man was undergoing tattoo removal when a suspicious-looking mole was discovered hiding inside his artwork. He had it examined by doctors … who diagnosed him with Stage 2 melanoma. Over a dozen tattoo-related untreated cancer cases have been recorded in the last few years alone, which means plenty more death lumps are still hiding inside infinity symbols and ironic Bart Simpson tattoos. And now, with the current trend of armpit tattoos, doctors are getting worried about the increased risk not just of a lack of diagnosis, but also misdiagnosis as well. To the naked eye, there’s little difference between a metastasized lymph node and one that has simply been colored in by a tattoo, which could lead to an unnecessary increase in biopsies and traumatizing a bunch of people by telling them they might have cancer. All in all, you’re not making it easier for doctors to save your life by giving half of your body cancer camouflage.

2

Your Skin Will Rub Off Tattoos

Despite what your boring parents and teachers used to say, tattoos aren’t permanent at all. Unlike lawns or babies, you can’t expect a tattoo to take care of itself. But the hard truth is that no matter what you do, those knuckle tats saying “hate” and “kids” are going to fade faster than your chances of getting a job teaching kindergarten.

You could be the kindest, gentlest person to your tattoo, but before you know it, you’ll be spending tons to get it retouched because it will start to look like crap. This is especially true if you had your tattoo printed on an area of your body that’s frequently moving, such as your hands, wrists, neck, or if you’re like us, rippling sack of python-esque biceps. That’s because the action of your skin moving and creasing will erode the tattoo faster. Think of it as a piece of paper constantly crumpling and uncrumpling. Actually, best not to think of your body that way.

via Bored Panda
Try not to think about what kind of rubbing wore that down in a year and a half.

If you don’t want to speed up this process, you have to do one other thing: Stay out of the sun. Forever. A sunburn causes your skin to shed like crazy, causing the ink to fade, feather, or blot much faster than it normally would. To make it even worse, seeing as you’ve just painted your skin unnaturally dark, tattooed skin is extra sensitive to sunburn, absorbing sunlight more easily and causing swelling, itching, or even blisters. But don’t worry, this only happens with obscure colors like yellow, red, blue, and black.

1

There Are Tons Of Things That Make Tattoos Harder to Remove

It’s all gone horribly wrong. Your relationship has fallen apart, the band has broken up, your favorite brand hired Kylie Jenner. Whatever the reason, you need this tattoo removed now. That’s fine. Merely pop down to the nearest laser surgery clinic and remove the mistake of mistakes while reading a dated US Magazine. Except that that kinda doesn’t work if you’ve lived your life in any way whatsoever.

Do you smoke? Yes? Throw in a leather jacket and you must be the coolest motherfucker in town. And there’s even more good news: You get to hold onto that feeling of coolness for a lot longer than you planned to. The chance of your tattoo being removed inside of ten laser sessions (a pretty standard treatment length) is reduced by 70 percent in smokers. That’s because smoking inhibits the immune system, the main way in which tattoo ink is allowed to break down and be flushed from the body.

Is your tattoo full of bright colors? Congratulations on completing art school / rehab. Unfortunately, choosing literally any other color than black or red means more of that painful laser surgery we mentioned. When it comes to inks like yellow, blue, and green, the chance of their removal inside of ten sessions was reduced to a measly 20 percent because, instead of disintegrating when lasered, these bad boys change hue and refuse to take the hint that you want them off your body.

You don’t smoke and your tattoo is just black? You must be either straight edge or a sailor from the ’60s. Better hope it’s the former, though, because the older a tattoo, the harder it is to get rid of. Over time, the ink sinks deeper into the body. Just three years in, and laser therapy only has a 47 percent success rate, whilst tattoos over six years old are so hard to get rid of that you’d think they have squatters’ rights.

And here’s where it gets ironic: If you listened to society and got a discreet tattoo on your ankle or foot that no one (including prospective employers) could pitch a fit about, your chances of removing it inside of ten sessions are even worse. As it turns out, those discreet locations are far away from the main bad-stuff-removal routes of your body, which means they take longer to break down.

So to summarize: If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo and want the option of removing it quickly, all you need to do is not smoke, get it on your face or neck, make it black and red, and pay extra attention to your skin. That way, you’ll never have any regret getting a tatt-

-oh, fuck.

Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook. He also has a newsletter about depressing history, but that’s only for the coolest kids.

Instead of getting a tattoo, try putting together this 1,329-piece Millennium Falcon Lego set. Seriously, it even comes with the little dudes.

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This Is What Kourtney Kardashian Eats To Stay Healthy

I’ll be totally honest that I don’t exactly Keep Up with the Kardashians, but like, I hate-stalk Kylie with every fiber of my being, so that’s got to count for something. But in terms of the OG Kardashian sisters, I don’t know a whole lot about them, other than what I gather from other Betches articles. Like, Kim is the vain one (I am the Kim of my family), Khloé is the funny one, and Kourtney is the healthy one who like, cares a lot about eating organic and gluten-free shit. Right? I think I’ve got the bases covered. And given that Kourtney is also the hottest one (don’t fight me on this; her face has changed the least over the years compared to her sisters), it’s understandable why people would want to know what Kourtney Kardashian eats. How does she look better at age 38 with three kids than I do after a good week where I stick to my diet and fitness regimen? I mean, probably because she has a very expensive plastic surgeon personal trainer and her livelihood literally depends on her having a desirable physique. But other than that, her diet probably plays a role. So what does Kourtney Kardashian eat to stay skinny? Let’s investigate.

On Kourtney’s members-only website (who is paying for this?), she revealed some key ingredients she swears by. As we all know, Kourtney went gluten- and dairy-free last spring, but she also has a serious sweet tooth, because LOL! She’s just so relatable. Kourtney previously told that she uses gluten-free flours like almond and sweet rice flour. Groundbreaking stuff. She also uses lots of coconut products like coconut oil and coconut flour. Apparently, behind the paywall on Kourtney’s website, you can find recipes for some of her fave coconut recipes, like coconut macaroons and pudding. And that’s how she sticks to her diet while still “indulging” in bootleg desserts that sound gross. IDK, I feel like if you’re about to go bake a cake out of coconut flour, you should either just make a regular fucking cake or eat some fruit. It’s like Ron Swanson says: Don’t half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.

If there are people out there who are really paying to see Kourtney Kardashian’s coconut macaroon recipe, please comment below because I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/this-is-what-kourtney-kardashian-eats-to-stay-healthy